First plastic banknote entered into circulation in England
The Bank of England (BoE) has released the first plastic five pound banknote featuring former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The new polymer banknote, introduced by the BoE at the beginning of summer, is made of thin and flexible plastic and promised to last two-and-a-half times as long as current cotton-based notes.
The innovative material is stronger and safer as it aims to protect the money from damage and forgery, according to the BoE.
“The use of polymer means it can better withstand being repeatedly folded into wallets or scrunched up inside pockets and can also survive a spin in the washing machine,” said BoE Governor Mark Carney.
The old fiver can still be used until it is withdrawn from circulation in May 2017.
The next banknote to go through redesign is set to be a polymer Jane Austen £10 note next summer and a plastic JMW Turner £20 note to enter into circulation in 2020.